US VP Pence assures Japan: America is with you '100 percent'

Henrietta Brewer
April 19, 2017

Pence told reporters President Donald Trump was confident that economic and diplomatic pressure from the "family of nations" had a chance of compelling North Korea to cooperate.

North Korea has accelerated its nuclear and missile tests in recent years, despite global condemnation and United Nations sanctions.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said "you'd have to be a fool" not to be anxious about what was happening in North Korea.

The Trump administration has declared a departure from the era of "strategic patience" in handling North Korea. The term "reckless" is one the North Koreans have used to describe ongoing large-scale US and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion.

"Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and beat any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", Pence said to loud applause, reiterating that all options are on the table in dealing with Pyongyang.

A Japanese official says a difference in approach remains with the US despite an agreement on a framework for new bilateral economic talks. -South Korean installation, which is just outside the 2.5-mile wide (4 kilometers) DMZ.

China is showing signs of cooperation toward a firmer stance against North Korea, such as by halting regular flights between the two countries' capitals.

After visiting South Korea, Pence moved on to Japan, where he visited a US naval base and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

But the U.S. is also working with China, North Korea's main ally, to pressure the regime to stop nuclear and missile tests.

Pence's visit came amid escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Pence on Monday had made an unannounced visit to the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, where he warned that "the era of strategic patience is over". Last week Trump warned darkly that if his China outreach fails, the North "will be taken care of" by the United States and its allies.

North Korea will continue to test missiles, a senior official has told the BBC in Pyongyang, despite worldwide condemnation and growing military tensions with the US.

Pence also reassured leaders that Washington remained committed to holding North Korea accountable for its actions.

After a two-month policy review, the Trump administration settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement", US officials said Friday. He says the Trump administration's plans to simplify the US tax code and cut the corporate tax rate will "benefit every business represented here today".

Pence sought to explain the policy in meetings with South Korea Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn and other top officials in Seoul at the start of the trip, which will also include stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia. He said North Korea's measures to bolster its nuclear forces are self-defensive "to cope with the USA vicious nuclear threat and blackmail", and he said his country "is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S".

The long-scheduled tests in the Pacific are part of the US military's overall ballistic missile defense program to defend against North Korean or Iranian threats - but are, for now at least, aimed at ensuring the US can defend against a threat from North Korea, US defense officials said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have sharply spiked in recent weeks as Washington and Pyongyang have rattled their sabers against each other, with the United States ordering a massive aircraft carrier strike group to move to waters off the Korean Peninsula and the North responding with a missile launch attempt, even though it ended in failure.

Mr Pence told journalists that the White House hoped China would use its "extraordinary levers" to pressure North Korea, the Associated Press reports. "U.S.A." It was a stick in the eye to China and Xi, whom Trump had praised at the end of their discussions, saying "tremendous progress" had been made and describing the U.S.

There have been several cases of Chinese companies and banks working with North Korean networks to evade sanctions, Ruggiero argues, and only the threat of U.S. legal action with halt this. "We will see what happens!" Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Along with the deployment of the USA aircraft carrier and other vessels into waters off the Korean Peninsula, thousands of US and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were deployed last month in their biggest joint military exercises.

Last week, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the Vinson was "on her way up" to the Korean peninsula. His three immediate predecessors lackadaisically watched as North Korea became a nuclear menace.

Other reports by iNewsToday